#sol15 Day #17 Tuesday Night Drive Time

Every Tuesday night at 7:30, my fifteen-year-old daughter has a trumpet lesson in Portland which is 45 minutes away. When people hear this they think we are a little crazy to be driving that far on a school night every week for a music lesson. We spend more time in the car than we do at the actual lesson.  We are committed to helping her develop as a musician but there are benefits beyond that.

My husband and I swap off on this “duty” that we both actually enjoy… Why? Because it gives us time alone with our daughter.

She has a special play list for each of us. I haven’t actually listened to my husband’s play list but I have a feeling it is more old school.  I prefer to think of my list as the “hip” one. We listen to the most current music from Ed Sheeran to Ingrid Michaelson and lots of other artists in between. We have certain songs that we play loud and sing along to.

She exposes me to new music I haven’t heard of before. Sometimes she thinks she is introducing me to new music when it is actually alternative music from the 80s being recycled.  She has such a passion for music she can morph her listening tastes to who she is with.

When we turn the music down, the real conversation starts.  I hear about her good news and troubles.  I get the updates on her friends, classes and boys.  I can ask her questions that we don’t really have time for when we are at home with the distractions of school work and social media.  Or, we discuss topics that she would prefer I not bring up in front of her dad or older brother.

Sometimes I bring up topics that get shot down like looking ahead to the future or planning college visits. When I have conversations with other moms, I get the sense that they don’t  have these conversations with their daughters.  I am so thankful  I do.

Another benefit of our Tuesday night drive is she gets extra driving practice and the benefit of all of my “coaching”.

In a few months she will be getting her license.  I know I am not ready for her to make this weekly trip by herself.  As a driver,  she can handle it. But, I will miss our talking time.  I will probably still go along for the ride.



  1. YES! Go along for the ride. Embrace the conversations she is willing to have with you. I too have found a car ride to be a powerful communication tool with high school age students, cherish these small moments, it helps with the bouncy ones.

  2. What a great way to spend some time with Erin. I’m very impressed with separate play lists for you and her father. Now that is thoughtful! Ride with her as long as you can.

  3. As the mother of a first and second grader, I can only imagine it’ll feel like minutes before they too are teenagers! I so appreciate your post and your perspective. Too often we allow this time to get edged out of our lives. I love that both Mom and Dad get this unique time – and I hope for you both it will continue as long as possible! Thanks for sharing today!

  4. Some of my best conversations with the kids was when I had to do the driving you write about, Diana. A special time – I think you are right to want to drive along…hang on to the chance to talk as long as you can!

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